1. YOu have two options here in relation to the excessive fees charged by the solicitors. Firstly, you can make a complaint to the Solicitors REgulation Authority on the basis that the charging was excessive. Go to sra.org.uk where you will find out the procedure for making a complaint. Secondly, you can apply to have the bill assessed by the High Court in accordance with the procedure formerly known as the taxation of costs. Here a High Court official will determine whether the bill is fair and properly measured. Finally, be aware that all solicitors will negotiate in relation to their fees should a client or an estate argue that the bill is too high. So before you utilise any of the formal complaint mechanisms, speak with the solicitor directly about the fees and raise the issue of charging being excessive. Then negotiate a fee you think was fair.
2. Yes, a solicitors fees for acting an executor would be a good reason for the charges being much higher than the US lawyer. Fees would be three times greater where the executor was a solicitor and he was not just doing legal work. Some of what you mention are not legal fees at all. The 3,869.66 are bills of the estate not legal fees. These would have to be paid even if no work were done. Without knowing what the estate involved, I would have no idea of how fees as executor were generated. Here you will have to ask another solicitor to look through the bill and view the charges.